Transform our inventions into commercial applications

Enabling & Support

18/11/2021 98 views 6 likes

ESA develops a vast array of innovative technologies and applications to make Europe’s space endeavours happen. Many of these inventions are protected by patents, resulting in a portfolio of around 580 patents or patent applications. ESA is now offering you the opportunity to find and mature real-world applications of these inventions.

Body scanners based on space technology, developed by UK company Thruvision

Innovation is at ESA’s core. Through devising new inventions, the Agency becomes more than a mere procurement body: it delivers real technical added value to improve Europe’s competitive edge. The innovation process often starts with new ideas in the heads of ESA technical experts, which go on to be implemented by European industry.

“ESA files patents to protect the interest of the European space industry,” explains head of ESA’s Technology Transfer and Patent Unit Aude de Clercq, who is leading the search of ideas. “It means that ESA’s inventions can be used free of charge for space applications in Europe, and prevents other parties from blocking ESA programmes. ESA is one of the few space agencies operating across all space sectors, so its portfolio of patents covers all space-related technology fields.”

Space technology was used for water recycling at the French Open in 2020

“We are looking for new ideas for the technical and commercial maturation of ESA’s inventions that could lead to a future commercialisation of a product or service,” continues Aude. “This will allow industry to benefit from developments made by ESA staff.”

This call for ideas will be open until 30 January 2022. Ideas will then be evaluated and the best will be invited to mature their ideas into proposals for early technology development projects. Funding is available for both space and non-space applications.

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